Created: Fri, 18 Oct 2013 06:37:00 EST
Updated: Sun, 20 Oct 2013 09:43:46 EST
Two big firsts are happening in Middle Georgia this weekend and both revolve around beer.
On Friday, Macon Beer Company owners Jeremy Knowles and Cory Smith toasted to the first beer sold from the tap at The Rookery restaurant in downtown Macon. Smith’s father is the first person to buy the duo’s pale ale, “Macon Progress.”
"Really excited, really relieved but really tired and kind of panicked too," Smith said.
After months of bad batches the owners are about to distribute to the masses, starting with the inaugural Macon Octoberfest.
"Being able to have our beer there along with those other breweries in Georgia that feels pretty great you know it feels like we finally have a place," Smith said.
Preparations were underway Friday transforming Cherry Street Plaza into a Bavarian beer garden. However, this beer festival will not be like the ones in Germany.
"It's not so much ladder hosen and accordion music," Macon Octoberfest President Shannon Harris said.
Instead, the festival is paying tribute to Georgia. All 11 breweries showcased are from the state as are the bands. Even the wood used to build the beer gardens are from an old dairy barn in Bibb County.
"We really got Macon and Middle Georgia on our minds here,” Harris said. “We're trying to generate economic growth."
There will be 35 craft beers that made in the state on tap. For those who don’t like beer, there will be a wine garden as well as a sports garden.
The Beer Gardens open Saturday 11 am.